Postal trucks being replaced

I knew this was coming but thought this was an interesting article. I am guessing certain components like the transmission had to be significantly upgraded to specify a service life of 24 years. These have to be some of the hardest working vehicles on the road. I wouldn’t only say maybe a garbage truck has a harder life.

It figures that a completely obsolete company is still using 100,000 obsolete vehicles.

Pool cleaners in my county still use the original S10 trucks. They are hard to kill.

I killed mine in 6 years. Wasn’t hard at all.

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It was pretty cold out and happened to meet the guy at the mail box. I asked him if his heater was working. He sai not very well and looked frozen.

A story I won’t tell again but a guy at work drove one of those old postal jeeps. He was a little gruff and our affirmative action officer, now dei, was scared to death of him. When she saw he drove a postal truck she exclaimed oh my god he’s got a postal truck like she expected he would shoot the place up. Ha ha ha but she didn’t mind using me as a shield. True colors.

I’ll take one…

My carrier drives the same vehicle every day. For at least a year, I’ve been able hear it an 1/8th of a mile away due to something pounding inside the engine.

I would love to see what’s going on in there; talk about being built like a tank!

And he just keeps driving it, oblivious to the noise.

He is likely aware of the noise and may complain about it. It’s up to management to repair it.


Usps nanagement is an oxymoron


Probably piston slap, the Iron Duke was one of the engines known for that. An engine can go on for years with noisy pistons. Also, the engine compartment on a postal truck is not insulated for noise reduction like a luxury car.

Back when i worked for the post office I was a letter carrier for 10 years. then I became a V.O.M.A. (Vehicle Operations Maintenance Assistant) for 10 years. I was in charge of 25 trucks. I kept them well maintained. but the only things the carriers cared about were that they ran and could get their routes done. they cared that the little fan on the dash worked, the windows went up and down. the driver’s door opened and closed easily. (the tracks wore out all the time)
The rear door opened and closed. (the cables would break, and the door would be like a guillotine). The driver’s seat was not worn out. I have changed a lot of seats. they just did not last too long. and the heater worked in the winter. (you froze in the winter, even with the heater on full blast)
Otherwise, they could care less about how the truck ran.
There were 1 VOMA per office. just before I left the Post Office Management decided to save money and have 1 VOMA per 5-6 offices. so, Maintenace probably went downhill.

I wonder if the iron duke is a better option than the newer 2.2 for reliability. It seemed those had issues with head gaskets, timing sets, and other problems.

Around here a local shop does the work. I see them parked there but never know if it is just for an oil change or major work. Once in a while see them towed and once on a trailer either for major work or to the postal shop in the sky.

That new postal van is going to need a BIG AC compressor to keep that fishbowl cool!


Considering how clever the new Amazon van is, why wouldn’t the USPS just buy a number of them? And EV postal van make loads of sense for local delivery. And it looks just as goofy.

I served in the Air Force for over 30-years and it did not matter if the Army, Navy, Marines, Coast Guard, or the Air Force needed some system (weapon, computer, communications, whatever…) it would write the specifications so only a “Unique” system would meet their “Unique” requirements. I remember some Staff Projects Officer tried to sell the General on a new requirement for meet the Staff Officer’s “Uniquely Unique” Mission… It does not matter is there is a perfectly acceptable option, unique requirements allow for bonuses, promotions, all sort of special rewards, that is until the communication systems cannot talk to each other, the computers cannot link to each other, databases are incompatible, Subway Cars that do not fit the track or are too wide to fit in the station, the engine uses the wrong fuel, the electrical power requirements are incompatible, 220V verses 110V, 3-phase verses 3-phase, AC verses DC… “Oh, you wanted the units in Meters, not feet and inches; or Kilos verses Pounds…”

I could go on, but you’ve all heard and read it before. The Post Officer will not accept someone else’s design, it will have to be Unique for their Unique mission…

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DoD addressed that in the 1990s when they sunset numerous MIL-SPECs. A professional committee I chair took one on and we have managed it since then. About the same time they started handing out credit cards to responsible team members with high credit limits to get around the expensive hammers. We worked with an AF sergeant with a card and a $5000 credit limit in the early 1990s. During most of my career I reviewed materials lists and when MIL-SPECs were referred to they almost always were cancelled and replaced by industrial standards.

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My late Brother in law complemented the credit card program that made everyone’s life easier in the Coast Guard. My friends working as civilian engineers at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base appreciated the common sense changes after the outrage over $600 allen wrenches or $900 toilet seats.

Apparently the post office did not get the message. In the time it took to create the first prototype new postal van, Amazon vans are in production.

One of my first jobs out of college was working on DOD contracts designing radar systems for the Air Force and Navy. Some of these over the top prices are not all the seem. One I heard about was that AFTER one of the radar consoles was designed and in production, the Air Force wanted to add an ashtray built into the console. Simple ashtray, right? Not so simple. Because that now required a redesign of the console. All the specs had to be updated, and the blueprints had to be pulled and updated. Had to be reviewed and approved up the chain. That simple ashtray cost taxpayers well north of $10,000.

Yep! Instead of using an off the shelf design that works well, they spend all this money to reinvent the wheel and return the favor to the contractors who likely give kickbacks.

I used to work for a federal agency and all the custom computer applications were just a terrible kludge and a huge pain to use. Everything was made by some type of federal contractor and nothing worked well together. It was so inefficient and I am sure other private parties had much better solutions but they weren’t used. I seem to recall the payroll software being designed by an aerospace contractor. They sure didn’t design software. The project planning software took more time to use than the actual project. It was almost unusable. It would be like getting in some new car and not having a steering wheel. Instead you steer using some complicated and non-intuitive touch panel…

You forgot how much the procurement officer is being paid off by the one vendor that can meet the unique spec.